An Interview with Kevin Carey
I am thrilled to have American author, Kevin Carey visit my blog today to talk about his writing journey and his new book, Murder in the Marsh, published by darkstroke. Thank you for your time, Kevin.
Please tell my readers a little about yourself.
I am the coordinator of creative writing at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts. I write fiction, poetry, drama and the occasional personal essay. I’m the author of three books of poetry, a chapbook of fiction, and my first crime novel, Murder in the Marsh, set in my hometown of Revere, Massachusetts, just north of Boston. I’m also a filmmaker and a playwright and I coached 7th grade basketball for 19 years before stepping down a few years ago.
What inspired you to become a writer/author?
I think I was always interested in storytelling, as a young movie buff and a fan of mystery novels. I’ve done some filmmaking over the years, but It wasn’t until I was around 40 years old that I started to find my own writing voice with narrative poetry and fiction and writing for the stage.
What is the best thing about being a writer/author?
There’s certainly a sense of accomplishment when I finish a poem or a story or a book, but it’s the chance to connect with people through the work that excites me the most. I love reading and having conversations with other readers and writers. I’m lucky to be teaching as well, often being surrounded by conversations about literature.
What is your writing routine like?
To be honest, I seem to go through spurts with writing. I wish I had a consistent routine, but so far it’s been a very sporadic practice for me. When I’ve generated a bulk of pages, or a rough draft of an idea, I’m pretty good about sitting down most days to rewrite, but generating that original bulk of work can sometimes take a while.
How much time is spent on research?
Some. I usually research as I go, while I’m in the process of writing whatever I’m working on. Much of what I write gets going from my own memory, so the research is mostly about checking how good my memory is.
How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?
Again, I wish I was more organized from the concept to the completion, but in truth, I usually follow an idea, whether it’s a story or a poem or a novel, to see where it goes. I may have an idea of an ending, something to write towards, but rarely a true outline.
What do you think is most important when writing a book?
For me, I think it’s perseverance, having an idea and sticking with it, but being willing to adapt when the writing forces you to change course or go in a direction you didn’t originally plan on. Being flexible as well as being able to push to the finish line.
What is your latest book about?
I think the jacket copy says it best.
Murder in the Marsh. 1980 Revere Beach, Massachusetts
Detective Eddie Devlin is about to be relieved of his duty by the Revere Police Department.
A year ago, he shot the killer of a woman in the marsh, but the man’s body disappeared from the crime scene. Eddie soon became a suspect, then a person of interest, and finally a casualty of the ongoing investigation.
Shortly after he is let go, two bodies are found in the same place, and suspicions about Eddie’s guilt resurface. Determined to clear his name, the new civilian Devlin conducts his own investigation with the help of his bartender friend, Dana, and his almost girlfriend, Gwen.
The sordid beachfront, the murky marsh, and the rain-soaked season all help to set the stage for this gritty and unsettling mystery, where Devlin battles his relentless demons on the way to uncovering a deeper conspiracy
What inspired it?
When I was a kid, we used to hear stories about the mob hits and other murders where the bodies ended up in the marsh. I suppose some of them were true, but many were probably local folklore. The idea stuck with me through some short stories I was writing and eventually prompted the idea for this novel.
Any new books or plans for the future?
I’m always working on something. Right now, I’m finishing a chapbook of fiction for a contest, putting together another book of poems, and I have a couple of novel ideas swirling around.
What genre do you read most often?
I read a lot of different genres and styles, but I seem to work my way back to mystery and crime novels before too long. Some of my favorites over the years have been Chester Himes, Eugene Izzi, Tana French and Elmore Leonard.
Thank you so much, Val, for inviting me to take part in this. Much appreciated.
Kevin Carey is the author of five books – a chapbook of fiction, The Beach People (Red Bird Chapbooks) and three books of poetry from CavanKerry Press, The One Fifteen to Penn Station, Jesus Was a Homeboy which was selected as an Honor Book for the 2017 Paterson Poetry Prize, and the recently released Set in Stone (2020). Kevin is also a filmmaker and playwright. His latest stage play “The Stand or Sal is Dead” a murder mystery comedy, premiered in Newburyport, MA. at The Actor’s Studio in June of 2018. Murder in the Marsh (Darkstroke Books) is his first crime novel. Kevincareywriter.com